In addition to the fines, Southern Coal mines had injury rates nearly twice the national average during years that penalties went unpaid, Berkes reports. Mine Safety and Health Administration data also shows "that those mines were cited for 3,657 violations while they were delinquent, including 699 violations that are classified by MSHA as factors in mine fatalities, fatal mine accidents and major disasters. MSHA mine inspectors issued dozens of citations for excessive coal dust, which can feed mine explosions, and roof and wall violations, which can lead to mine collapses." (Injury rates at Southern Coal's delinquent mines)
agreed to pay $900,000 to settle water-pollution violations in Alabama, Kentucky, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia.